Your Advertising

After you’ve established a strong online presence and begun cultivating your network, consider advertising. It’s one of the best ways to broaden your visibility on a global stage and attract new business opportunities. It can also be expensive. That’s why you should only incorporate paid advertising into your marketing plan IF you can clearly articulate your objectives: Who do you want to reach? What message will resonate with them? Use the following tips to refine your strategy.

Top 3 Advertising Priorities

1. Your market. For global agents, the top priority is promoting your market (tell the world what’s great about it!) and becoming the go-to resource for anyone interested in your area. Consider your role as similar to a representative of a chamber of commerce, economic development organization, or department of tourism.

2. Your self. Promote your knowledge and skills as an international specialist, as well as any areas of specialization (corporate relocation, luxury properties, commercial development, etc.). Earning your CIPS designation puts you in a distinctive class of real estate professionals. However, most buyers/sellers will need your help understanding how your designation translates into tangible benefits. (Just make sure the message remains focused on THEM; avoid any hints of braggadocio.)

3. Your properties. If you’re taking care of the first two advertising priorities, and are making good use of all the listing tools at your disposal, your properties will “automatically” receive good visibility. Yes, individual properties may need special advertising attention, but never forget: listings come and go, but efforts to promote your professional real estate practice should never lapse.

Where to Advertise?

Property magazines are among the most logical advertising options for real estate professionals, including both online and print publications targeting various property niches (resort destinations, real estate investors, commercial developers, etc.).

Don’t stop there! Depending on the types of clients you want to attract, investigate other publications that may be distributing content to your ideal audience, potentially at lower rates.

For example:

Expats - Check out Expat Living Magazine, InterNations Magazine, and others.

Retirees - International Living and Escape Artist are popular retirement lifestyle magazines.

International students - Explore advertising options with specific universities, or at and other sites.

Immigrant communities - Which local publications are read by foreign nationals?

Additionally, if you’d like to advertise in a major journal, but the costs are too high, consider restricting your ads to special editions specifically focused on your market.

How to Earn Free Advertising

Publishers are always looking for ready-made content, as long as it’s educational in nature. Consider what types of stories will be interesting to their readers, then submit a well-written draft. (You may want to hire a writer to review and edit your copy before submitting it.)

This is an excellent way to gain broad exposure and build credibility as a market expert, without spending anything, beyond the investment of your time. If the publisher declines the article, consider submitting it elsewhere, or using it on your own website.

Once your article appears online, in a digital format, share it via your social media profiles, providing additional (free) visibility.

Facebook Ads - Filtering Options

Among pay-per-click options, Facebook is extremely popular. Using its targeting tools, you can greatly improve the odds that your ads are seen by your most promising prospects. Refine your message to match their interests and boost response rates even more, while keeping your advertising budget slim and on target.

For real estate professionals, two of the most popular filter options are Location (you can drill down to individual zip/postal codes) and Age. Also consider:

Languages — Show your ads to people who’ve indicated French, Spanish, etc. as their primary profile language (and people who’ve added languages to their basic pro le interests).

Gender — Have you noticed that female versus male buyers are drawn to your market for different reasons? Consider creating two ads, featuring different attractions (golf versus shopping, for example).

Expats — Use this feature to find expats (from particular countries) in your local market, or to connect with expats from your home country living overseas (in particular destinations).

Travel — Hotels use this targeting tool to display properties to people who’ve expressed interest in specific destinations, or are showing other travel-related behaviors. Use the same tactic to connect with buyers of second/vacation homes.

Custom List — You can also upload your own list and create a custom audience. It’s a great way to get more mileage from your database.

New Member Benefit: Advertising Discounts

NAR Global is negotiating special discounts, exclusively for CIPS designees. So far, two publications are already lined up, with more to come!

Property Professional - 25% discount
Bi-monthly UK magazine for key decision makers and senior practitioners.
Contact: Sarah Davies
Email Sarah at and mention code Real25% to receive discount.

Canadian Real Estate Wealth - 30% discount
Bi-monthly Canadian publication for real estate investors.
Contact: Trevor Lambert
Email Trevor at and mention code CREWCIPS18 to receive discount.

Watch for more publications to be included in this exciting new member benefit! All discounts can also be found by logging into the Global Marketing Center at

Notice: The information on this page may not be current. The archive is a collection of content previously published on one or more NAR web properties. Archive pages are not updated and may no longer be accurate. Users must independently verify the accuracy and currency of the information found here. The National Association of REALTORS® disclaims all liability for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information or data found on this page.

Action Items

1. Identify three publications that provide the best t with your global practice, and your budget. Typically, this is as simple as going to an Advertisers page, where you can gather data on the publication’s readership (total distribution, demographics, etc.), plus advertising rates and options, for both print and online formats.

2. Create and test ads. Work with a copy writer and a graphic designer. Share your elevator speech (see page 4) and other helpful background on who you want to reach, and what message is most likely to engage their interest. Finalize your ads and track results. Make refinements, based on what you learn, and repeat the process.

3. Try running a Facebook campaign too. How would you describe your ideal client? Take notes, and use this information to make decisions about who to include/exclude from your campaign while being compliant with Fair Housing laws. Finalize the photo, and how much you want to spend. Then track your results.


About Global Perspectives

Global Perspectives in Real Estate is a resource for global professionals, aimed at helping them globalize their local markets. Produced bi-monthly, this newsletter serves as a how-to guide and is full of useful and actionable tips. A free subscription is given to all Certified International Property Specialists (CIPS) designees.

Learn more about earning the CIPS designation